Gravity Separation

The most basic method of water removal is gravity separation. As the name suggests, gravity can separate fluids because of its stronger pull on the more dense fluid, which separates it from the less dense, or lighter, fluid. In relation to turbine oils, water is the denser fluid. To employ gravity separation, either the system is temporarily shutdown or the lubricant is transferred to a residence, or reservoir. The goal is to slow down the flow of the oil and, in doing so, minimize the agitation that physically mixes the oil and water together. The water will then settle into a liquid layer on the bottom of the reservoir, where it can be drained off. The downside to this water removal technique is that it requires time for separation and drainage, during which the oil cannot be circulating through the system. If this method fails to separate the oil and water, significant time may have been wasted.